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Kaslo council roundup: Rogers tower petition presented to council

All the news from the Jan. 23 meeting
Some Kaslo residents are raising concerns about a proposed strata RV park (75-to-90 sites), a small boat launch, four-to-eight private residences and some parkland (a public trail along the river to the lake) on a Kaslo waterfront property known locally as South Beach. File photo

by Rachael Lesosky

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice

A representative of the Kaslo Golf Club brought forward a petition with 243 signatures of individuals opposed to the proposed installation of a Rogers communications tower west of the clubhouse.

“Signatures were not hard to obtain,” said George Wilson, president of the club, during the Jan. 23 meeting. “There’s a lot of opposition there.”

Wilson appeared before council in person. He explained that a tower would destroy views and overall ambience for the clubhouse. As well, the clubhouse and nine-hole course are situated on 38 acres of land, but the market standard for a regular nine-hole course is 80 acres.

“A loss of 100 square metres of land to a communications tower is a loss of land the golf course cannot afford,” he said.

Wilson said that he and the volunteers of the KGC are frustrated with the lack of communication from the Village about the issue. The KGC spoke with council in October during an in-camera session, and were unsatisfied with the results of the discussion.

In order for Rogers to install a tower, the site needs to be rezoned. In August, council gave first and second reading to the zoning amendment bylaw, and in October, council decided that Rogers must host a public information session before third reading. However, nothing has come to fruition.

Councillor Erika Bird felt for Wilson.

“It is the same frustration that council has – we haven’t heard a thing from [Rogers] since October.”

Interim CAO Linda Tynan said they are preparing a report for next council meeting.

South Beach

Council received more feedback from the public regarding the South Beach development proposal by Quality Property Developments Inc. and CTQ Consultants.

Two letters from community members with concerns about the proposal were included in the agenda package, and an individual spoke up during public time.

“There’s a big fear out there that this is another developer coming in to sort of walk right over the council and just do what they want to do,” the citizen said.

“At this point it’s just on the table … it’s in the research phase,” said Mayor Suzan Hewat. “We’re gathering information and part of that is input from the public.”

The proponent has submitted a rezoning application for the property, but the zoning amendment bylaw has only received first reading, back in October.

“Council hasn’t taken part in a second reading because they know they need more information,” said Tynan.

“And in the meantime,” said Hewat, “the public is invited to speak to the developer, because it sounded like he was very open to discussion with members of the public and wanting to do what is right for the community. … It sounds like he’s willing to work with the community, and [communication] doesn’t have to just be through council. It can be through the developer himself.”

SS Moyie

Council agreed to nominate the Kootenay Lake Historical Society’s SS Moyie restoration project for a Heritage BC Award. The annual award recognizes outstanding conservation work.

“Nominating the KLHS project for an award from Heritage BC will formally recognize the tremendous amount of work performed by volunteer board members, and raise the profile of the attraction,” wrote corporate officer Catherine Allaway in her staff report.

The KLHS has spent many years restoring the world’s oldest intact passenger sternwheeler, which celebrated its 125th birthday in 2023. The latest restoration work began in 2021 and consisted of repairs to the decks, stairs, railings, roof and other components.

The SS Moyie is owned by the Village and operated by the volunteer-run KLHS. It is the prime attraction in Kaslo, and is even featured on the Village’s flag and coat of arms.

Winners of the Heritage BC awards will be announced at the annual Heritage BC conference, which will be held in May in Nelson.

Asset management

Council has awarded contracts to TRUE Consulting and LandInfo Technologies Inc. for $5,000 and $11,900 respectively to continue a water and sewer asset management project that began in 2019.

That year, the Village received a $10,000 provincial Infrastructure Planning grant to complete asset management investment plans for the water and sewer systems. TRUE Consulting helped prepare the application. The project did not move forward at the time, but the Village is now rekindling it to use up the funds before they expire at the end of March 2024.

The Infrastructure Planning Grant program awards up to $10,000. The first $5,000 is 100 per cent funded by the province, while the second $5,000 requires the Village to make a matching contribution. Since the total project cost is $16,900, the Village will be making a contribution of $6,900, which will be included in the 2024 budget.